While bummed-out, tired, and immobilized by sickness I concocted a journey of non-physical sorts... a mental journey that will take extreme dedication and passionate pursuit... or neither, but nonetheless, I give you installment one of "Coast to Coast Musical Road Trip". Simple premise: a new state and musical discoveries therein every week. It's a humble exploration, and as such, please feel free to post other awesome findings in the comments section. Lets start with California.

Many of you already know that I love this Bay Area band, and who wouldn't? Texture, rhythmic dynamics, great melodies, and one heck of a live show... I really can't understand why the world isn't flipping out over the simple question. check it out

Half-Handed Cloud
Though the caption on his myspace page claims the project as "Tiny, scrappy investments in melody & arrangement", John Ringhofer is the man behind - what I would call - mini-masterpieces. His music refuses to leave my stereo... rightfully so. One minute I'm completely cracking up over a cartoon trombone slide and the next, lamenting in repentance with an early 80's omnichord angel... all throughout, marveling at the compelling arrangement and melodies that hum themselves in my brain for weeks at a time. Don't know what I'm talking about?check it out.

I don't know much about this guy, but I saw him perform with my friend Bill and a radical surprise known as Brenmar (which I'll hopefully talk about at length later) a few weeks ago at Ronnie's here in Chicago. I was sold on Bizzart once he called the audience into a screaming huddle overtop of a sparse floor tom. check it out

Xiu Xiu
As many have noted, the music of Xiu Xiu has a polarizing effect on nearly everyone that gives it a chance. My introduction to the world of Xiu was with the record La Foret, which really challenged me. There are a few moments of tangible (in the standard sense) melody, but otherwise, the project generally tends to point toward deconstruction. Sometimes the songs even seem to subvert their possible pop elements and obscure them intentionally to explore their potential territory more fully. That rules. You are constantly faced with a sense of the possible with Xiu Xiu. I found myself really digging the sounds on La Foret, which led to a love for the songs, which led to seeing them live... to this day it remains one of the most compelling performances I've ever seen. check it out

Woohoo! This stuff sounds great to me. The group features Nedelle of... well... Nedelle (and also Curtains). And Chris Cohen previously of Deerhoof and The Curtains. Not sure if the Curtains are still playing, but one thing that I do know is that Cryptacize has a new record coming out in 2008 and from the sounds of these two tracks, it's going to be pretty stinkin' righteous. They're heading out on tour pretty soon. Show some love! check it out

No Age
My friend Marah (props) turned me on to these L.A. folks. I'm really interested in the recording sound. I think the songs are really great and I'd love to see them live. check it out


BW said...


marahe said...

props me! no age signed to subpop, btw, and they're playing at the bottle w/ deerhunter 9/29!

like.a.cannon said...

chaotic Math wizards Tera Melos from Sacramento and the bay areas Subtle are a force to be reckoned with....

...its not you, its your narrative said...

Marahe - werd on the bottle show. we gotta hit that. like.a.cannon, good call... for some reason I thought Subtle was from Minneapolis and blanked on the live terror math of tera melos. props!

Isaac said...

Bizzart is one of the coolest. I played with him when he was touring with New Orleans is a Dead Museum. Such a nice guy.

Quillen said...


I am way behind here. I always forget you guys have a blog, and when I do remember, I have do a few weeks worth of catching up.

This little musically journey idea is brilliant! I am fascinated by the different scenes that represent different cities/areas. Luckily, the Detroit/Ann Arbor/burbs scene is pretty great for the most part.

I really got into Why's "Elephant Eyelash the summer of '06 when I lived with Julian. Everything you said about him/them is right on.

Xiu Xiu is interesting. I bought "Fabulous Muscles" a couple months after it came out (in '04 I think?) completely on a whim, and it freaked me out. There are some great, weird electronic pop songs on that, but then there are the songs that sound like they'd only be appropriate for messed up horror movie soundtracks. After seeing them at Intonation when Pitchfork curated it, I was able to get into "La Foret." The live show blew my mind. The dissonent sounds clashed very interestingly with the beautiful weather outside. Anyway, "La Foret's" got some jams, there are three in particular that I love, though I can't remember the names. The one with the autoharp is especially awesome. Have you listened to "The Air Force?" It's got more pop songs I would say, but still, is totally messed up. And it also has the scariest cover art I've ever seen.

Sorry for the length here!
~ AQ